I read a book called "Moonlight Sonata at the Mayo Clinic" a while back and was intending to note the highlights here. I didn't get it done, I kept putting it off and just a few minutes ago I was about to toss it onto the stack of books to be delivered to the Friends of the Library used book store.
Then I flipped through it one last time and remembered why I wanted to run some excerpts here. For example, here's a line that may be the most absurd sentence ever written about Rochester:
"Before I fell asleep, what came to my mind was that Rochester was a cross between Lourdes and 'The Magic Mountain.'"
I don't know where to begin with the analysis of that thought, so I'll move on to other excerpts from the book, which is a nonfiction account of the author's challenges in dealing with an illness that mystified doctors, eventually leading to a medical visit to Rochester. As the book jacket says, "After a year of searching for a diagnosis and treatment, she arrives at the Mayo Clinic and finds a whole town built around Oz."
Another crazy line, but that one's by a publicist.
"We learned fast that almost everyone in the hotels was going to the clinic. There was really no other reason to be there."
The author, Nora Gallagher, notes that Charles Mayo "founded the Mayo Clinic with his brother, William Mayo," which is another way of saying -- Mayo Clinic's not 150 years old.
Another observation: "That night after dinner, on our way back to the hotel, we walked past a small city park. Hundreds of crows were gathered in the trees. They covered every tree, muttering to each other, and occasionally one or two would fly from one tree to another...neither one of us had ever seen so many crows in one place..."
One more that's slightly less accurate: "Hardly anyone seems to actually live in downtown Rochester - the Mayo buildings and hotels and restaurants that serve the sick constitute almost all of it...the streets at night seem to be populated only by patients and their families."
Now -- off to the library's used book store.